Cookie policy of Würth Elektronik

General note on data protection

Dear customers,

We at Würth Elektronik take the protection of your personal data very seriously. We place importance on long-term customer relationships based on trust and the belief in the quality of our products. Misusing data in the interests of quickly achieving commercial success is not a part of our ethos.

Therefore, we are committed not only to fulfilling the statutory requirements in the new GDPR but also dealing responsibly with all data within the meaning of GDPR. In addition, we would like to clearly inform you about how we handle your data. If, however, the wording is somewhat difficult to follow as we are referring to incontestable legal requirements, please excuse the use of this legal jargon.

Use of cookies on our websites

Here you will find detailed information on the types of cookies used on the websites of Würth Elektronik as well as the purposes for which they are placed. This information must be provided by law and must be displayed in one form or another on a website that complies with data protection regulations.

As a general rule: Cookies are small files that a website (such as ours) saves in your internet browser so that it can access them at a later time. In this context, you may often read the sentence “... to improve your visit to our website...”; however, we would like to provide you with real information and not just pay lip service. What is the purpose of all this? The technical explanation is simple: Cookies allow us to record data between two webpages or in between two visits to the same website. Without cookies, we would always consider you as a first-time visitor to our website.

This is best illustrated in an example: When visiting our circuit boards shop, WEdirekt.de, you set your preferred language. The problem is if you switch to another page on WEdirekt.de without cookies, we would be unable to recognise that you are the same visitor who just changed the language settings. Therefore, you would have to re-set the language after each click, which would be very, very tedious in the long term. As you can see, cookies are necessary, and without them our websites could only be used in a limited manner or not at all (more information about the types of cookies can be found in the next section).

Why do cookies have such a poor reputation that we have to issue a guideline on cookies? In general, cookies per se are not bad, but rather what the owner of a website could potentially do with them. Again, cookies are used to recognise the visitor to a website. They do not recognise the visitor personally by name, but merely in the sense of “I see that this web browser accessed our site just a few seconds ago (or one week ago)”. This is similar to how a salesperson in a store may remember your face after several visits. This fact in itself is neither good nor bad; it depends on how the sales staff handles the situation. It can be a good thing if you are recognised as a regular customer and thus given preferential treatment. If you are treated indiscreetly, however, this may be a breach of trust.

The same applies to cookies. At the end of the day, trust is what counts: trust that your data will be dealt with carefully and in your interests. We want to ensure this trust by providing you extensive information on cookies.

What you need to know about cookies:

  • Cookies alone are not bad or harmful.
  • Some features or even entire websites do not work without cookies.
  • Cookies can only be read by a website with the same domain with which the cookie was placed.
  • Paradoxically, in order to prevent cookies, you usually have to place a cookie that says you do not want any (other) cookies.

To sum up, you cannot determine good or bad data protection on cookies alone! There is only a very slight connection between cookies and data protection, if at all. For this reason, we would like to provide you with an overview on how we handle your data in general, not only with cookies. Please also read our privacy policy.

Classification of cookies

Although (or precisely because) cookies are often misunderstood, we would like to give you extensive information about the cookies on WE websites and how they are used. First of all, we should classify the different types of cookies. This makes it easier to assess our individual cookies in the following section.

Classification based on storage period

An initial classification is according to how long the cookie will be saved:

  • “Session” cookies expire (are deleted) once you close the browser when you end your “session”.
  • “Persistent” cookies are saved for a longer period. This can range from a few seconds to months. After this time, your browser will automatically delete the cookie – unless it is renewed, for example the next time the website is accessed.

Please note that some browsers offer the option of restoring sessions (i.e., the pages left open) after rebooting your computer. This effectively disables the session cookies, and they become persistent cookies. We have no control over this.

Classification based on use

We use the following general classification for you to assess our cookies in the following section. This classification is from Würth Elektronik and is based on our own offers; and it can only be partly applied to other websites.

Overview: Use of cookies
Characteristics Description
(1.) Necessary cookies
  • Session
  • Anonymous
  • Only fo WE

No operations are possible without these cookies.
In the simplest case, our programmes and web store save a random identifier in a cookie at the beginning of a session. Based on this number (“session ID”) we can attribute operations or even a shopping cart to you (more precisely: your web browser). Without cookies, shopping carts could be swapped between visitors or another person could access your shopping cart.

Our programmes often remember data temporarily, for example, “was last on page X”. As mentioned above, you are assigned a random number which changes the next time you visit.
(2.) Preferences and local data
  • Persistent
  • Anonymous
  • Only fo WE

Some (comfort) features are disabled
without these cookies.
These cookies are in the interest of data protection. Instead of storing your data (such as language settings) on our servers, it can be saved in a cookie on your own computer. We therefore have no obligation regarding your data. On your next visit, we are able then to retrieve these data from your browser and adjust the language, for example.

Not only do we store simple data in these cookies but also entire shopping carts or other form data. All this with the proviso that they are stored on your system and not by us. On top of this, we are unable to identify you – we only see an anonymous cookie whenever you return to our website.

Consider this comparison: While at a store you write down a note about a product you are interested in and take this home. On your next visit, you bring the note with you as you may want to buy the product. You are not required to give your name at any time, and you therefore remain anonymous. Wherever possible, we prefer placing this type of cookie.
(3.) Registration and security
  • Session
  • Personalised
  • Only for WE

Personalised services (purchase, stored configurations)
are not possible without these cookies.
Compare once again the situation in a store: If you have an item put aside in a store, the retailer takes your name and perhaps for good measure your phone number as well. Therefore, he essentially stores your data.

In the same manner, sometimes we must require you to log on to our website for security reasons, for example, in our shops, where your hard-earned money is at stake, or preventing abuse of our services. In this case, we save your personal data, of course, and assign a unique cookie to you.

For large amounts of data, we still need to be able to manage them (such as a user account), as cookies can only contain small amounts of data. And a secure logon with a user account is only possible with cookies.

By the way, the contents of the cookie are usually the same as in (1.), i.e., a random number. This shows that it is not possible to know to what extent the cookie processes sensitive, personal data or rather trivial, anonymous information.
(4.) Measuring performance, use and analysis
  • Persistent
  • Anonymous
  • (u.U. Personalised*)
  • External

Without these cookies, Würth Elektronik
cannot improve its web offers.
We would like to improve our web offers and adapt them to your needs. For this reason, we measure which websites are visited often and for how long, the order in which they are accessed, how visitors find our homepage and when they leave the site.

These analyses are created by external companies on our behalf. For this, we provide anonymous usage data of our website to these companies or services. Contractual agreements with these service providers ensure that this is done in accordance with data protection laws.

In return, we obtain corresponding analyses and key figures from these external companies. Typically, the data are cumulated from the beginning, i.e., no individual users can be identified. If a user can be attributed, however, this is only done under a random number and not personally.

* Note: You can perhaps imagine that it could be beneficial to you if we were to send specific offers to you based on your personal behaviour. For example, let’s say you’re interested in a product, and two days later we send you an offer with a discounted price for this item.

Rest assured that if we ever pursued personalising the use of our web services, then it would only be under the following conditions:
  • Under the full control of Würth Elektronik
  • Only with your explicit consent
  • 100% data protection compliant
(5.) Advertising / sales
  • Persistent
  • Anonymous
  • External
  • General*

Without these cookies, we do not know
whether you really receive our advertising.
We post online advertisements on various sites and would like to know how successful this advertising is in drawing your attention to our offers. A certain kind of cookie, called “ad networks” (for example Google AdWords), can establish a connection across the entire world wide web between clicking on an ad and visiting our website.

For this type of performance measurement, you are only attributed to an anonymous number for the ad networks. We therefore have no way of knowing which specific people have clicked on our ads. Unless, that is, you tell us this directly, which we would of course greatly appreciate.

* Note: This type of cookies can also be used to “provide” you (or more precisely: your browser, with a random number) with targeted advertising across multiple websites. Würth Elektronik currently does not use this type of advertising and thus does not place any such cookies.

List of cookies placed by Würth Elektronik

Note: Some of the following cookies are placed by third parties whose services we use to operate of our websites. Although they are legally bound to announce changes to their cookies, there may be changes to their name, content or use which we are not aware of. We would be grateful if you tell us about any gaps in this documentation.